Aaron O’Brien represents people whose cash, cars, boats, and other property has been seized by the government, also known as Civil Asset Forfeiture.
You might be surprised to know your property can be seized even if you are not convicted of a crime or even accused of a crime under the Florida Contraband Act.
For instance, if you allow your 19 –year-old son to enjoy a day on the water on your boat and one of his buddies brings a bag of weed aboard, the government can seize your boat.
You’ll then be embroiled in litigation trying to get it back.
The government needs only show that by a preponderance of the evidence “that the owner either knew, or should have known after a reasonable inquiry, that the property was being employed or was likely to be employed in criminal activity. “ What if junior’s buddy had been arrested for marijuana before? Should you have known?
If you carry cash, look out.
Agencies love to seize and forfeit U.S. currency and, many times without a modicum of evidence, allege it’s related to illegal activity like drugs, prostitution or gambling. In one case, the cash was bundled with the loan document from whence it came inside an envelope and the police still seized it asserting the money was drug-related.
The Institute for Justice graded Florida a ‘D’ where A is the best and F is the worst on matters of civil asset forfeiture. The good news is that the Florida Contraband Act does provides that the court shall order the seizing agency to pay the Claimant’s reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in certain circumstances. Attorney Aaron O’Brien has been awarded fees by the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court in such a circumstance.
If you receive a “Notice of Seizure” or if you are a lawyer and one of your clients has received a Notice of Seizure, contact Attorney Aaron O’Brien right away.